Calls for more popular participation are not essential to populism; rather, they are a symptom of perceived exclusion (which might well be a reality, especially in Latin America). But cries for political inclusion are different from demands for direct democracy. Where direct democracy is very much a part of normal politics – in Switzerland, for example – populist parties have been doing better, not worse, than elsewhere.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took office in 1999 on a populist platform. But three terms into his "socialist revolution," critics say the country increasingly resembles an authoritarian state. This interactive timeline offers a visual account of Chavez's rise to power and the impact of his presidency.
In Venezuela's upcoming elections, President Hugo Chavez—suffering from poor health—faces his strongest challenger yet. Former ambassador Patrick D. Duddy argues that the United States should prepare for political unrest.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.